Rory McIlroy has been hogging the headlines in the build-up to the 2023 Open Championship. The Claret Jug quest returns to Royal Liverpool, the course where the Northern Irishman won the third of his four Majors in 2014 and he arrives off the back of a links victory at the Scottish Open.
McIlroy will duel Scottie Scheffler for favouritism ahead of the first round at the Hoylake, Merseyside course. Find out why we favour the New Jersey native when it comes to our Open Championship tips, along with the compelling case for bigger-priced plays at 18/1 and 40/1.
2023 Open Championship best bets
Each-way terms: 8 places, 1/5 odds
Bet on the latest Golf odds at Betzone
The Scheff is not-far-off a faultless each-way Major play
Granted, there are readers for whom it’ll be a cold day in hell before they take 13/2 about anyone in a tournament such as The Open, when the weather can make a mockery of the best laid plans.
But there will plenty more, us included who think that it’s a fair each-way price about Scottie Scheffler, with Betzone paying eight places at 1/5 of the odds. Absurdly Scheffler has finished T8 or better in seven of the last 10 Majors.
The other three in that sequence included a T10 at this year’s Masters and a T21 at the 2022 Open, when he’d been T5 heading into the last round before carding a 74. Only a missed cut at the 2022 PGA Championship can really count as a departure from that metronomic consistency.
Scheffler is ranked number 1 for a dizzying array of PGA shots gained stats as well as the potentially crucial scrambling metric and he warmed up for this tournament with a T3 finished behind McIlroy at the Scottish Open. What’s not to like?
Rickie’s return could be rubber stamped with Claret Jug acquisition
Rory McIlroy isn’t the only golfing boy wonder of 2014 for whom this Wirral course will bring back happy memories. Rickie Fowler finished second in the Open at Royal Liverpool during a brilliant yet frustrating 2014 campaign when he finished T5, T2, T2, T3 in the sport’s four Majors.
In the not far short of a decade since then, the Oklahoma State alum has struggled through what counts as the wilderness for a golfer of his calibre, but a 2022-reunion with former swing coach Butch Harmon may well have been the catalyst for the Rickie revival now in progress.
Starting in late May, Fowler went on a PGA Tour run of T6, T5, T9, T13, 1, T42 finishes with the T5 in that sequence coming at a US Open in which he equalled the lowest round in Major history with an eight-under 62 in the opening round.
In resurgent form and with an undeniable history of hitting the upper reaches of the Top 10 in the big four events when all is on song with his game. Fowler needs to be on our team sheet.
Major glory a case of not if but when for exciting young talent Tom
Tom Kim came to the attention of many golf followers at the 2022 Scottish Open when the then 20-year-old finished solo third after gaining an entry to the tournament through the Korean PGA.
The precocious talent followed that up with T47 at last year’s Open Championship at St Andrews before bagging a brace of PGA Tour wins to gild a glorious season.
Finishes of T16 and T8 in this year’s Masters and US Open respectively show the brilliance of 2022 was no flash in the pan and Kim warmed up for Royal Liverpool with another strong Scottish Open showing.
He went into the final round on 12 under, just one shot behind eventual winner McIlroy, only to drop to T6 after a carding a 73 on his fourth tour of the Renaissance Club pins.
A prolific winner who has already landed two Philippine Tour wins, two Asian Development Tour wins, two Korean Tour wins and two Asian Tour wins to go alongside his brace of PGA gongs – Kim has the talent and the minerals to make a Major winner before long.